Bos Lab Research
Tumors are rapidly evolving, heterogeneous mixtures of different cells types and extracellular components. They are constantly shaped by mutual interactions, which are critical in determining tumor fate. The main goal of Paula Bos’ laboratory is to unravel the crosstalk between different components of the tumor microenvironment, and how they contribute to tumor progression and metastatic dissemination. We believe that harnessing novel tumor-stromal interactions that support cancer progression will be key to develop effective therapeutic combinations that prolong disease free survival of cancer patients.
A major focus of the lab is the identification of tumor promoting mechanisms by regulatory T (Treg) cells. Treg cells are a subset of CD4 lymphocytes prominently found in tumors, and associated with poor prognosis. They are defined by the expression of the transcription factor Foxp3 and the ability to suppress immune responses. Using a murine PyMT–driven model of mammary carcinogenesis refractory to current immunotherapies, we have demonstrated that Treg cells are required for efficient growth of primary and metastatic tumors. As an independent investigator at VCU, her lab received funding from the Massey Cancer Center and institutional research grant from the American Cancer Society. Currently, the lab is funded by the METAvivor foundation, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the American Brain Tumor Association.